Photo by April Ngern
Netherland Dwarf - Breed Profile:
Appearance and coat descriptionThe Netherland Dwarf is an extra small rabbit that weighs only 1,1 to 3,5 pounds. The body is very compact, short, and round. The eyes are disproportionately large compared to the rest of the body. The ears, to the contrary, are very tiny and carried high on the head. The face is rounded and somewhat shortened. These dwarfism features make the rabbit look infantile even when it's fully grown. Netherland Dwarfs come in a wide variety of colours such as himalayan, black, blue, chocolate, lilac, smoke pearl, sable point, tortoiseshell, chestnut, siamese sable, opal, lynx, squirrel, chinchilla, otter, tan, silver marten, sable marten, smoke pearl marten, orange, fawn, steel, broken, blue-eyed white and ruby eyed white. The coat is dense, fine,
TemperamentToday's Netherland Dwarf is a gentle and friendly pet rabbit, although it still retains a more energetic disposition than larger breeds. Some individuals can be skittish or wild, which happens because of the rabbit's wild heritage: the Netherland Dwarf's temperament was quite poor in the beginning of the breed, but this have been improved through years of selective breeding. It's also important to remember that any rabbit's personality is 95% breeder and handler, and 5% genes, which means that if the animal is handled correctly from the very beginning, it will become a lovely, amiable pet. A well-bred and well-raised Netherland Dwarf makes an excellent pet for both adults and children.
Health and hutchThe Netherland Dwarf doesn't have any breed-specific health issues. Like most other rabbits, they can suffer from overgrown teeth, flystrike, mites, lice, fleas, diarrhoea and infections. The average lifespan is 7 years and more.
It's a mistake to think Netherland dwarf rabbits didn't need a big home because of their size. The bigger their home is, the better. In spite of their extra small size, dwarf rabbits are energetic and love to jump and run around. Besides, they need something to entertain them when they're confined. The size of the cage should be at least 4 times bigger than the size of the rabbit.
Other interesting factsThe Netherland Dwarf was first bred in the Netherlands in the early 1900s. Small Polish rabbits were crossed with smaller wild rabbits. After several generations, the resulting animal was a very small domestic rabbit available in a wide variety of colours and patterns.
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